Friday, September 07, 2007

new challenges

Life throws at us all kinds of new challenges at various levels as we seek to go on in following Christ and in our life in the Lord. These challenges involve growth in grace, dealing with sin issues and really everything related to "the Jesus creed" of loving God and loving others, as well as being rightfully related to God, others, ourselves and the world.

We have to find another car, as we just found out today they are "totalling" our good car. This is a new challenge we didn't want, but now we must face, and do so, hopefully in God's grace. I ran into another new, kind of old challenge today and this alerts and informs me in a way that can help as in my foolishness and weakness I reach out to Christ for his wisdom and strength, found in him.

Life in a sense is a challenge all by itself. We're either going on and growing in the Lord, or we're drifting away. I don't think it's okay to stand still in this, to stand still means to drift away (Hebrews). Unless one is talking about the standing still of faith and rest in God.

But back to life as a challenge in itself. Life is a dynamic in which we're either following Christ in the community of God in Jesus, or we're losing out and missing some important additions that God wants to bring along and help us make part of our lives. 2 Peter 1 reminds me of this, but really all of scripture in one way or another is related to this. Even in reading Leviticus recently from the Message, I was struck by both Eugene Peterson's introduction to that book, as well as the content of it, from this fresh rendering of scripture. And I had to thank God for this great salvation we have in Christ, and would do so as well for God's commitment to our lives, that every part of them would be holy.

New challenges, just as new thankfully as God's new grace to us every morning. He will be faithful to us to the end, as we continue on through each and every challenge as well as this great challenge of life in following Jesus in this world along with others, and for others.

How do you look at new challenges and what helps you in facing them?


Halfmom, AKA, Susan said...

I love the sentence, "I ran into another new, kind of old challenge today."

That has been my summer, running smack into "new, kind of old" challenges. I know to watch out for my areas of weakness; what I forgot to do was to be extra careful in areas of "perceived" strength, those areas of weakness that I thought were long ago healed, so long ago in fact, that I thought they were now areas of strenght becaused I'd walked "uprightly" in them for so long!

I love Psalm 1:1 for the very order of the words it uses - walk, stand, sit. So, I guess I walked where I was supposed to, and may have even stood for quite a while where I was supposed to - but likely forgot to SIT always where I should be!

L.L. Barkat said...

I'm with halfmom. That's a great line. The story of our lives I suppose.

Ted M. Gossard said...

Susan, That reminds me of Moses who had become the meekest person on the face of the earth only to revert back to anger and an impulsive act of disobedience which kept him from the promised land, for awhile until later he is there with Jesus, of course (on Mt of Transfiguration).

Your thought makes me want to meditate afresh on Psalm 1. Watchman Nee had an expositional book on Ephesians called, "Sit, Walk, Stand", the metaphors used in Ephesians. Of course you know what that's all about.

Of course the Lord works in different ways with each of us, all in accord with his word. He knows what we need, though it certainly seems like a hard road oftentimes.

I can think I'm doing well, then zap!, I'm hit with this or that and it leaves me reeling in my heart and mind for a time. But those are the times that if we're sitting pretty (ha) or sitting well, walking uprightly or attempting to, then we can stand in the midst of the heat and battle with all God gives us in Christ there in Ephesians 6.

But your point is well taken too, I think. We need to remember where we're seated because our walk and stand is based on that. If we become unglued there, than the rest unravels.

But sister, know that I pray for you and I appreciate any prayer you may pray for me. We need to be praying for each other as those in Christ, especially when we may be going through seasons of struggle and weakness which it seems you have been, and true for myself as well.

Ted M. Gossard said...

L.L., Yes, I guess that is true in a certain sense. Certainly we can boil down our troubles to the world, the flesh and the devil- at least in a primary or major sense.

It may be, "Here we go again", but in a different form.

Ted M. Gossard said...

...and we need to remain seated in Christ. This reminds me of the words in Ephesians, "You are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light." etc.

This sit, walk, stand all go together. They need to be kept in mind for our lives. I need to work on this to better understand what it means.

Ted M. Gossard said...

In saying that, and my rambling can turn into a number of comments- well--

in saying that I need to work more on this, I mean that no matter what I read from scripture or a good book or hear from others, it must somehow hit home to me.

But I don't think that means we say only such things are true. Of course not. Nor that only such and such things are true for me. But that I need to walk in the truth that God has for all of us.

One reason I enjoy blogging is getting to hear from insightful people like my commenters on this posts and other posts, really all of my commenters.

Even when it's a comment like I frequently leave, that I'm there, and there with the blogger friend.

Ted M. Gossard said...

I know this is ridiculous, but adding another comment, and I may end up being the only one who (bothers to read) reads this. (between falling asleep in our warm living room with Volf in hand).

But WALK BY FAITH, I think is probably the key here. Sure, by faith our position in sitting one could argue is key, but if we don't walk it out in life it really in Biblical terms is worth nothing. And of course to stand by faith is part of our walk by faith. Walking by faith means we're acting on what God says is true of us in Jesus, our position.

So walking by faith means that we're seeking to live out this life in Jesus that is really beyond ourselves, yet there for us in Jesus.

I think this somehow is related to meeting the new, old challenges of life and the challenge of life itself.

This walk meets us everywhere, a part of what we're about.

And in this walk we must remain grounded in our identity in Jesus, our position, as well as needing to stand when we're under attack.

NaNcY said...

read em all. good post ! and comments...hehe

Ted M. Gossard said...

Nancy, You're a better person than I am. :)